Linda: Hey, we’re a few minutes early. It’s Friday, 1 o’clock.
Charles: A few minutes? I think we’re a minute early.
Linda: Oh, we’re a minute early. We’re early, yay. Linda and Charles here for our Friday Live.
Charles: Friday Lives are interesting, because it is Friday, and I don’t care who you are, unless you just had a horrible Friday, everybody looks forward to Friday, right?
Linda: Yes. So, today we are gonna talk about the golden key, and a lot of you are probably thinking, what the heck does that even mean?
Charles: What say you?
Linda: I know, so we’re gonna impart some knowledge. Not the golden gnome, to be confused with Karen’s birthday party.
Charles: That’s a whole nother story. We ain’t getting into that right now.
Linda: Some of you know what that means, so I had to say that, but anyhow, we’re talking about the golden key today. It’s part of fun loving couples.
Charles: Traveling, eating well, working out, having fun.
Charles: More along the lines of the eating well side of things, but you’ll see what it is.
Linda: Yeah, but it could be having fun, too.
Linda: There’s a golden key everywhere you go.
Charles: I don’t know if I agree with that. I really don’t think I agree with that, but-
Linda: Almost everywhere you go.
Charles: What we’ve done is look for the golden key everywhere we go, because I don’t think the golden key [inaudible 00:01:22] we’ve been.
Linda: Yeah, that’s true.
Charles: So what do we mean by the golden key? The golden key really is just that individual at that place, or individuals at that place, that when you go, they should make you feel invited, nothing crazy, but just invited.
So, what do we mean by that? Well, look, we’ve all had expensive meals, we’ve all had great meals. The food comes out and whatever you had, it just looks amazing, the smell is amazing, and the food’s really good. However, the other component to all that, at least in our experience, is what’s the service like?
Charles: – have a great, five star, expensive meal, but if the service is just okay, at least for us – it changes your whole experience. Conversely, you could have an average meal, but if the service is over the top-
Linda: And not a five star restaurant either.
Linda: Doesn’t have to be.
Charles: It doesn’t have to be. It shouldn’t necessarily be just contained in those types of restaurants, right?
Linda: True, true.
Charles: But you can have just an average meal and have crazy, over-the-top experience, and you won’t stop talking about it. You’ll tell everyone about it. To me, to us, the golden key is really the connection with that person or persons there.
Linda: Absolutely. There’s actually a local establishment I’ve, I don’t think we’re gonna name names of local establishments. They’re gonna be very close to where we live. It’s a Mexican restaurant. The food’s okay, it’s a nicer Mexican restaurant. It’s not the fast food. But the service is spectacular in their bar area.
Charles: Oh, exactly.
Linda: The food’s okay, it’s normal Mexican food, but the service is what really stands out. That’s why we go sometimes on a weekly basis.
Charles: I’m glad you said normal because it reminds me of when everyone walks in like, “Hey, Norm,” like we’re on Cheers.
Linda: That’s what happens.
Charles: Everyone likes acknowledgement and appreciation and connection. I promise you, you do. Think about it. You may not like people and I kinda get that. That’s a little funny joke on the inside. Nothing weird. But even when you walk into a place after you’ve been there one, two, three times and someone remembers your name, immediately, at least for me, for us, it changes everything. There’s a connection. There’s someone in that establishment, in that place, that restaurant, whatever it is, that you immediately feel connected to.
Charles: We took a walk with this going back to our first foray into the wineries. Why you got your hand up here? You trying to tell me something?
Linda: Oh, no. I was just positioning my hand.
Charles: Oh, I thought you were … you know how women are. They have these little-
Linda: [inaudible 00:04:01] I’m just kidding, go ahead.
Charles: I’m just saying. So, when we went to some wineries, the service was over the top. It was supposed to be catering to, but I get it, but you don’t always get that when you go to a restaurant. When you do go to a restaurant or that place that you go to, in this case you’re talking about one of our bars, and you walk in and they know who you are and they know your drinks and they know what you had last time and, “Hello, how’s mom doing?” It changes everything. Suddenly, that person now becomes, at least for us, that golden key. There’s a connection there.
Linda: Yeah. The golden key isn’t to be abused, but I feel like the golden keys are our friends. When we walk into this place, we get hugs, we get handshakes. When we leave, we get hugs, we get handshakes. Even the manager acknowledges us. Not that that’s what it’s about, but it feels like a family.
Charles: No. It really is about that. Look, I don’t go to Denny’s and expect that to happen.
Charles: I don’t go to Denny’s anyway, but I don’t go to Denny’s and expect that to happen. I don’t necessarily go there with the entitlement mentality or the expectation that it is gonna happen but when it does happen, it should be embraced. Here’s something that I think about. Most of those folks that are working in the service industry, very few of them really love what they do and are there for that specific reason, like they can’t wait to get up and go off to the bar or go off to the restaurant and do all the prep for the day just for you to show up. That’s not what happens.
Linda: I’m waiting for people to complain.
Charles: Well, I think that’s probably what they’re more likely experiencing.
Charles: ‘Cause think about it, we’ve actually been some places where it felt like the expectation was a little adversarial and then, by acknowledging someone and just asking their name-
Charles: Asking their name and calling them by their name-
Linda: Especially in the beginning.
Charles: It changes everything.
Linda: Yeah. Yup. That’s true.
Charles: So, I think it is about that because look, I come to have a meal. It’s a value trade, right? I’m giving them dollars for food, but I think you can take it a whole lot farther than that by connecting with that man or that woman. Who knows what’s going on in their day, you know? Who knows what their kids were like, who knows what their brother or sister were like, what their aunts were like? We don’t even know what’s going on in their life, what’s going on in their head.
So, you have, we have, you have the opportunity to make a change and brighten someone’s day. It could really simply be just by asking their name. Try this out. Next time you go out, start being deliberate and intentional on asking their names and talking to them, just like you would your friend, by using their first name.
Linda: Yeah. And if you’re at a restaurant, for instance, or a bar, continue to call them by their name and even ask questions like, “How long have you worked here?” Just the conversation, I think, is huge to them, too. I have another example of a hotel in San Diego that we had went to for a conference, for a client’s conference, and then just happened to be the next week, we were flying out to go visit one of our clients. So, we decided to spend the night again at the hotel. As soon as we checked in, the girl was like, “Hey, you’re so familiar. I remember you.” And I was like, “Oh, yeah. We were just here last week. We were here for five days.” And she was like, “Yeah, I remember.” She actually upgraded our room. It’s just those little things.
Charles: So, we should have had a prop. We should have brought … so, two things. One more example is the same bar that Linda’s talking about, another bar where we’re friends with the managers, we’re friends with the staff, we walk in and we get this rousing reception. I’m not into entitlement and all that stuff, but it does make a difference. But we walked in and everyone, “Hey, how you doing?” Hugs and handshakes and everything else, and then the guy sitting next to us, it was funny, “What are you, some rock stars or something? What’s going on?” “No, man, we just asked their names and talked to them.”
Linda: Yeah, exactly.
Charles: Just that simple. Ask their names and talk to them. Now I forgot what my second one was gonna be.
Linda: It’s funny because, like we said, we’ve made friends with a lot of these people, so much so that we’re going to one of their birthday parties this Sunday. She invited us to her house where her mom is cooking homemade Filipino food and invited us to come celebrate her 29th birthday with her. You just never know what’s gonna happen. We also, when we fly, we bring M&Ms-
Charles: Oh, that was it. That was it.
Linda: That’s what I thought you were gonna say.
Linda: M&Ms for the head flight attendant to share with all of the other flight attendants and we don’t do it to get anything in return, but when you think about how sometimes probably sucky their job is, seeing people coming in and out and dealing with nonsense and schedules-
Charles: [inaudible 00:08:28] hijack the plane.
Linda: All kinds of stuff. Bring a bag of M&Ms, a big bag, for everyone to share-
Linda: If you get it at the airport, it’s a smaller bag and it’s $10, but it’s okay. It’s worth it. Just the service you get, number one, but it brightens their day, even so much so they’re like, “We’re gonna share it with the pilot.” We’re like, “Oh, phew, thank you.”
Charles: The M&Ms thing, the M&Ms story is crazy in that the small investment that we’ve made has changed the entire flight. Everyone’s wondering what the heck is going on and we had, I think our last flight, one of the flight attendants didn’t leave. It was a gentleman, a young guy, and he came and stood there for, I don’t know, an hour talking. People were going past him. I think he forgot to give his group their beverage service, I apologize.
Linda: We were on a two hour flight and it was about an hour.
Charles: Yeah. So, he had just been so taken by the fact that we thought about them. Again, $5. Oh, and a peripheral benefit, not that I’m expecting it or expecting it to happen all the time, but $5 bag of M&Ms that goes out to all the flight attendants and hopefully the pilots, and then our drinks for the remainder of that flight were free. Didn’t have to ask-
Linda: Every time.
Charles: Just, yeah, exactly.
Linda: Every time. We’ve even had vouchers. The airlines, because we fly a lot, sends us free vouchers for drinks. We’re like, “We have vouchers,” or “We’ll pay for it.” “No, no, no, say those for next time,” or “Don’t worry about it.” Blah, blah, blah. The service industry can be very difficult. Some of you work in the service industry, some don’t, some have. So, you sort of know what we’re talking about, so why not brighten their day? That little thing that you do, just asking their name or conversing with them or whatever, could make the rest of their day.
Charles: Absolutely. And even if it doesn’t, I promise when you come back, they’ll remember you.
Linda: Yes. And plus, you feel good.
Charles: Exactly. So, what do you do? What do you do when you go out to a restaurant? Do you think about the others or do you think about yourself? I know that’s kind of a jacked up question, but you know what I’m trying to say. Where can you take opportunity to make a connection with someone to brighten their day, like Linda said, and then make the experience you have with them a whole lot different. Remember, what goes on back in the kitchen? Who knows, but I promise, if you make a connection with someone, you’re probably gonna get a lot better service than someone who came in grumpy. We’ve seen all the movies and we’ve heard all the stories.
Linda: We’ve read the articles.
Charles: Part of that is I just don’t want anyone messing with my food or my drinks. But even beyond that is the, like you said, the friendship that you make just by simple connection with that person in that place.
Linda: Yep. Yeah, so, if you’d like to know some great places to go to that we’ve been, we’d be happy to share that and we want to know your places.
Charles: That’s what I want to know.
Linda: Where do you go?
Charles: Where do you go?
Linda: And it doesn’t matter if you’re in [inaudible 00:11:23] or not, because we do travel. So, where do you go? We want to know, ’cause we wanna go there and we wanna meet your golden keys.
Charles: So, walk in with this device, with this smartphone, probably get permission. Interview the GM, interview your favorite server, interview your favorite hostess. [inaudible 00:11:41] ask her three questions, “Hey, what’s your name, what do you do, how long have you worked here?” I guess I’m going on and on, and then post it to the group.
Linda: You get the idea. Yeah.
Charles: Post it to the group.
Linda: So, if you go to our website funlovingcouples.com, you’ll see some of those interviews with Vintana, the GM of Vintana, Penny, the wine club manager at [inaudible 00:12:01]. We have some more that we have not posted yet, some in Little Italy, San Diego, with one of the servers who was so gracious enough to give us an interview, and food galore. He just kept bringing food out. We started our meal with dessert, because he wanted to make sure we went to the dessert counter – it’s a bakery as well – and picked out all the desserts we wanted so we could talk about them.
Charles: So, there’s your challenge for the week, folks. In your planning of date night and getting out and traveling and eating well and having fun – that’s another thing we didn’t talk about, we maybe talk about some other time, is when you travel, how foreign and awkward is it sometimes to find a good restaurant? We all know the Applebee’s and the other chains that are around. There’s nothing wrong with those obviously, but like when we went to Nashville, we intentionally went off the beaten path and had some amazing food and met some very cool people, just by stepping out, getting out of your comfort zone and doing something a little bit different.
Charles: In that, in strengthens this, right? There’s a whole mental-
Linda: It’s sort of an adventure, too.
Charles: It is.
Linda: Going to a place you’ve never gone before.
Charles: So, again. What do you do? Where do you go? Share with us ’cause we’d like to go try it out. Take your phone and take a picture, interview those folks. Let’s get them all in the group. Let’s get fun loving couples just talking. So when we come to your town or you come to our town, we’ll all know where to go and who to talk to and who to say hello to.
Linda: Absolutely. Thanks for joining us today, or if you’re watching the … I guess it’s not a recording.
Charles: Do all that stuff where you punch the little button and all those little guys fly across the screen.
Linda: Yes, please. Show us some love. Anyhow, it’s Linda and Charles.
Charles: We should probably lead with that next time.
Linda: I know. Oh well. It’s Linda and Charles with Fun Loving Couples. Have a great, amazing weekend.
Charles: See ya.
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